Archive of films Monsoon Wedding / Monsoon Wedding

2001, 114 min

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Year: 2002

In the style of popular Indian films featuring song and dance – a provenance affectionately known as “Bollywood” – this famous Indian director offers an entertaining story of a traditional wedding held in a contemporary bourgeois environment. Her ability to mix various genres and to express almost casually many truths about contemporary Indian society was awarded with the Golden Lion at the Venice IFF in 2001.


It is the monsoon season and the Verma household is in chaos: a huge wedding is being planned for the eldest daughter. Relatives from all corners of the globe, including the bridegroom who has been long settled in the USA, are converging on Delhi for the occasion. The beautiful Lalit wouldn’t have minded her parents arranging her wedding and seeing her husband-to-be for the first time today, if it weren’t for the fact that she is in love with someone else. Her lover, however, is married and at the last moment lets her down, while the bridegroom turns out to be a real character. Nothing now stands in the way of the marriage, and the grand celebrations with all their rituals, singing and dancing, can begin. In addition, an arrangement is made between one of the maids and the wedding organiser who is smitten with her. Neither an incident uncovering former ties between one of the uncles and the foster-daughter, nor the downpour which starts during the wedding itself, is able to dampen the general merriment. How the head of the household is going to pay for this enormous traditional ceremony with hundreds of guests is a mystery. This colourful weave of episodes bringing together various social strata and generations in today’s India, and depicting its traditional and modern ways of life, was awarded the Golden Lion at Venice in 2001.

About the director

Mira Nair (b. 1957, Bhubaneshwar, India) studied sociology in Delhi and at Harvard. She made several documentary films (So Far from India – 1982, India Cabaret – 1985, Children of Desired Sex – 1987). Her feature debut Sallam Bombay! (1988) was awarded the Golden Camera and the Audience Prize at Cannes and was subsequently screened all over the world. Her next film Mississippi Masala (1991), a melodrama focusing on the integration of various ethnicities and social strata, was selected for competition at Venice. Other films: The Perez Family (1995), Kama Sutra, A Tale of Love (1996), My Own Country (1998, TV), The Laughing Club of India (1999, doc.), Monsoon Wedding (2001). She has recently completed the film Hysterical Blindness starring Uma Thurman and Gene Rowlands.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Horizons - Awarded Films
Director: Mira Nair
Screenplay: Sabrina Dhawan
Dir. of Photography: Declan Quinn
Music: Mychael Danna
Editor: Allyson C. Johnson
Producer: Caroline Baron, Mira Nair
Production: Mirabai Films
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Lillete Dubey, Shefali Shetty, Vijay Raaz, Tilotama Shome, Vasundhara Das, Parvin Dabas, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Kamini Khanna, Rajat Kapoor

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